Saturday, July 8, 2017

Horseshoe Lake & Giant Steps July 8, 2017

Paradise is right!  The classic as it gets Paradise Valley & Giant Steps hike is one that I always wanted to experience but I knew I didn't want it to be just that but I also didn't know how else I wanted it to be.  That was until two years ago when I saw a friend ventured above and beyond that valley and those steps and he and his friends landed at a gorgeous lake.  I knew then how I wanted my trip into there to play out.  It took until today to put a plan in place and execute it.  Horseshoe Lake looking exactly what I hoped for today.
photo credit Short Stop
her shot of Horseshoe Lake from Eiffel Peak
captured on July 18, 2013

I put a plan together and hoped friends would be keen to come with me and sure enough they were.  It was forecast to be a hot day and what better place to play than where there are lakes, rivers, creeks and waterfalls.  We left the concrete jungle at 6:15 had a smooth sale to the trail head parking arriving at  8:15am only to find it already full.  We then created a make shift spot to park.  We made good time through the forest to Lake Annette.  After a short snack break, we hit the creek side trail and.....
...made our way to the Giant Steps.
We took another fuel up break at the Giant Steps then began the task of route finding our way to Horseshoe Lake.  The colors were gorgeous the entire way, they never let up.  We had a couple of creek crossings, passed through some marshy meadows, did a little rock hopping, bushwhacking and finally found that piece of paradise.

Horseshoe Lake
my destination shot
me and my friends just hanging around
Horseshoe Lake which sits at the base of Horseshoe Glacier is so large it is impossible to capture it all in one photo unless you are like Short Stop and able to witness it from almost on top of the world. That's Lefroy in the middle there.   The color of the Lake was so pretty.  We stuck around for about an hours.  There was no wind, no bugs, it was very warm.  Two friends went for a frigid swin, some dipped just their feet in and we all just took the time to "remember to breathe".
I wanted to hike a loop around this area so that meant we needed to work our way through some bigger rocks that went on and on and on.  I like this view down into Paradise Valley and Horseshoe Meadows.
crossing Horseshoe Lake

in Horseshoe Meadows
We found our way down to Horseshoe Meadows, descended a snow slope, did a little more bushwhacking and route finding and completed the loop arriving back at the Giant Steps.  Being a hot day and needing to freshen up, we visited here for a little way and found ways to cool off.
We still had a lot of kilometers to cover so carried on back to the trail we came up on.  
The views were better now than they were early this morning.  

back at Lake Annette at the base of Mount Temple
my reflecting lake shot
We hiked through the woods, crossed a couple of bridges and had one last look at Mount Temple which was a steadfast the entire day.  With just a couple of clicks to cover we just made business of it and dealt with it.

We were well into early evening by the time we completed our adventure.  I was very thankful it was over and glad to be able to sit on something soft with my boots off and head home.  We had an incredible experience.  With a great group of troopers, many memories were created to carry forward.      It is days like this one that I make sure to appreciate even more and be thankful for.  We had everything on our side and we worked together to execute a flawless adventure.  

Thank you for today!


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